It cannot be said that directional heating is better than zonal heating or visa-versa, each heating method has its own benefit depending on the area being heated. First, a quick description of what each is; directional heating as the name suggests heats an area in which it is directed, while a zonal heater heats an area of 360°, greatly differing from its indoor heating compatriot that heats specific rooms e.g. ducted air conditioning.
Heated areas vary dramatically depending on if a directional or zonal heater is being used, zonal heaters e.g. patio heaters or fire pits, require an area which allows for people to stand completely around it for it to be working at maximum efficiency Fig 1. Not to say that situations like these don’t occur, for instance a family BBQ where the family stands around the fire, but these cases are limited. Another drawback for zonal heaters is that they can only be used in specific locations, because if placed near other objects the excess heat will damage it, meaning instead of the heater working around your outdoor area, you will have to work your outdoor area around your heater.
Directional heaters offer users the flexibility of highlighting area they believe will require heating, the drawback of this however is most directional heaters are ceiling and wall mounted. While these heaters do come with adjustments to heat a greater area, it does limit the amount of flexibility you have. These heaters are very smart with their efficiency, heating a desired area and nothing more Fig 2, meaning no money spent on wasted energy.
These point mentioned are imperative to outdoor heating for a business, while around the home you can go by with some space wasted because of you outdoor heaters, at you venue wasted space is not acceptable, usually meaning less patronage resulting in less profit. Most modern zonal heaters are also controlled from a single point instead of having to be turned on and off manually, giving greater control to the owner.
Zonal and directional heaters each have their benefits, which are particularly highlighted by the user’s needs. Taking into account the benefits of each type of heater and assessing the your needs will help you in taking a step in the right direction in making the best heating solution choice.